A Cuppa With Brian
Each month, we'll be enjoying a cuppa with members of the team at Airfield Estate. Next up is Brian Farrell, Head Farmer of Airfield Estate pictured here with his two daughters and dog on his own farm.
What is your favourite place in Airfield Estate?
My favourite place in Airfield is probably the mound at the top of Dudleys upper. I still find it intriguing that on one side of a wall you can have rush hour traffic and then on the other, you can have cattle and sheep grazing peacefully in an almost rural setting.
You’re one of the most rounded farmers! But, do you see yourself doing something else? If yes, what?
To be honest, I don’t see myself changing careers, I was in construction for over ten years but I can only see myself farming going forward.
What is your favourite/ best time of year on the farm?
My favourite /best time of year is probably autumn time. There is a little lull in the workload, the harvest is gathered, there is stock to sell and it gives a good indication of what the year is going to be like ahead. It’s like a little pause before the hardship of winter and the busy spring and summer.
How did you get into farming? What was your career path to your role?
As far back as I can remember I was always going to be a farmer, my dad was a farmer and so was his dad and so on for around five generations, I think! So after my leaving cert I did a certificate in agriculture (green cert) which is just the basic cert in farming followed by three months on a host farm.
I decided to do the three months in Australia and I ended up staying out there for a little over a year, when I came back I started working in construction and stayed at that for a good few years but still remained farming in the evenings and weekends, finally taking over the home farm around 2004.
I started my role in Airfield seven years ago, so you could say I manage two farms full time now. Both farms requiring a completely different sets of skills with Airfield being multi species and a food production business attached, with no farm staff living on site and my home farm being mainly cattle with my home situated at the farm yard.
Love the milk, do you think you will ever bottle in 1 litre containers rather than 2?
Yes the milk seems to be very popular, we possibly will bottle in 1 litre containers, its just at the moment the bottling plant is set up for the two litre ones, so we would have to do some alterations to get the bottles to fit, but its like everything, if the demand is there, it can be done.
Does the Jersey herd really date back to the Overend family?
Yes, Lily Overend purchased the first Jersey cow in January 1889 for £17 10 shillings from the auctioneer Ganley & Sons, and within the month she was providing her family with milk and sold the excess locally for 4p a pint. (about 70 pints a week)
The Jersey herd today can be traced back to the Overend family and we continue to name the cows following in their tradition with names from Gilbert & Sullivan operas!
What is your favourite animal in Airfield Estate?
My favourite animal would have to be the donkeys, they’re great craic!
What’s your advice to a person who wants to pursue a career at Airfield Estate?
Keep an eye out for volunteering opportunities, it’s a great way to get to know the place and the team. It's also a nice way to find what you're really interested in.
There's also many festivals and events (maybe not this year) but they are a nice place to start. Jobs will be posted out on our social media and website when they become available.
Do you enjoy working at Airfield Estate?
I love working at Airfield Estate, there is a great team working on the ground here and I have made some great friends over the seven years.
Thank you to everybody who submitted their questions via Instagram, follow @airfieldestate on Instagram and watch out for next months Cuppa With question box.